When the hardest part of winning regional and national awards is having to remember them all, you’ve had a good year.
Buzz TV at Fort Mill High School had a good year.
Not long after students found out their #BuzzedonFall episode was the best high school production of its kind in a multi-state region, they went ahead and won the national title for it at a convention in Anaheim, Calif. They weren’t done celebrating when students learned they also won four regional Emmy awards.
“At the beginning of the year we write down all our goals for the year,” said senior broadcasting student Sydney Miller. “We’ve actually won everything that you could possibly win.”
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Just this school year there were seven Student Television Network awards, eight more from the Southeastern Interscholastic Press Association, four from the South Carolina Scholastic Press Association and four student Emmys.
The national title was a team effort, recognizing an entire episode from the weekly broadcasts students plan, film, produce and put to airwaves. Students, who take Karin McKemey’s television production class, sent their best effort in for judges to consider, but senior Ally Patterson said even their best was “a good representation of our weekly shows” that succeeded due to its “balance between fun and serious.”
“Really strong segments,” said Julian Masters. “Really strong anchor segues. It was just the perfect show.”
Masters also won an Emmy with a human interest piece on volunteer firefighters at the school. As did Sydney Sigmon and Mackenzie McNabb with a feature on ice cream frozen by nitrogen.
“We found a little ice cream shop in Waxhaw (N.C.) and decided to do a story on it,” Sigmon said.
The unorthodox refrigerant made for great visuals, McNabb said.
“Smoke like comes out of it,” she said, “and it’s really cool.”
If it seems students couldn’t turn a corner without bumping into and winning another award, it isn’t far off. At least to hear Miller, who won as an editor, tell it.
“It’s mostly sports montages in a reel,” she said. “I had never heard of that category.”
She had heard of the award it won.
“That’s a freaking Emmy,” she said.
Several students in the class plan to pursue broadcasting or journalism careers. Several already have a college program lined up, thanks in part to the success they had in high school. Scholarship committees and others perk up when they near of national championships and Emmys.
“To say that you’ve won so much, they’re blown away,” Masters said.
There’s a little more than hard work and talent that plays into so much winning, though work and talent are pretty big parts of the equation. So too is the area Buzz TV students call home.
“You find really good stories here,” McNabb said. “In Fort Mill, sometimes you find those golden stories.”
Or, in their case, become one.